So wrote this for a short story contest on another site, and so I had to use OCs instead of fanfiction characters. Usually I picture the characters as Katniss and Peeta, but then add different names, but this time I feel this was influenced by a TV show I was watching. But anyhow, this is AU Everlark so I thought it would be ok. The characters are a bit OOC, but Katniss's father is alive, she has no sister and they don't live in poverty. Also, I wrote this as a Oneshot, but I always felt it had a full length story to go with it. Tell me what you guys think, and I hope you like it

The door opened, letting off the familiar creak that her father had never fixed. Katniss glanced inside, noticing that everything was in the same place as when she'd left. It was strange, glimpsing into the room that had gone untouched for four years, it didn't feel like her room, even though everything was the same. It was like looking into the room of a different Katniss, someone who certainly wasn't her.

A thin layer of dust covered all her belongings, a barrier that separated her from everything that once was. She felt wrong, as if she couldn't touch anything, move anything. As if disrupting the cold stillness of the room would be like going into a stranger's room; the other Katniss's room, the one who was happy, and safe, and loving. She wasn't that Katniss anymore.

The walls were still green, but now it felt somber. Katniss remembered how she'd begged her parents to let her paint them a happy colour, even though her mother had protested. Now she hated the walls that had lived on without her; they seemed inappropriate somehow.

She willed herself to walk, running her hands along the perfectly pressed brown sheets of the bed. She couldn't even call it her bed anymore. It wasn't her bed.

She wished her parents had done something to the room, repainted, or at the very least messed up the sheets a little. The other Katniss would have hated that, but the new her didn't mind at all. The new one didn't want perfect sheets, and unmoved furniture, all things that made her feel more disconnected. She didn't need reminders of what once was; she needed something to have changed, so she'd be allowed to have changed too. It was like the room was forcing her to be the other Katniss, the one who belonged in this room.

Katniss sat down, pulling the sheets up over her head, and curling into a ball beneath the covers. She messed up the bedspread, throwing her pillow to the floor.

Oh how she longed to be the other Katniss. Her heart ached at the thought that it was unattainable. Too much had happened, too much had changed. She choked on her sobs, letting tears streak down her face. She couldn't even remember what it felt like before, what it was like hiding out in this room. The countless hours she'd spent under these very covers seemed so far away.

"Kat?" her mother's voice came from down the hall. "Dinner's ready."

Katniss pushed off the covers, wiping at her eyes. None of this felt right.

She stood up, and for the first time in four years, she caught a glimpse of her face. The dusty old mirror glared at her, showing everything that she'd lost. The other Katniss had been pretty, but this Katniss had dark, hollow cheeks, and bloodshot eyes. This Katniss's face showed that she'd been underfed, that she'd been abused. She had bruises speckled across her jaw, and dark circles under her eyes; she looked like a stranger.

Yet somehow she wasn't even bothered by it, this face was the face of the real Katniss, the new Katniss. It now suited what she felt perfectly. She was the battered, broken girl in the mirror, not the strong, happy Katniss.

Dinner was silent other than the scraping of forks against ceramic. She knew her parents wanted her to say something, but she just couldn't. There was too much distance between them, and anyways, she hadn't spoken for a very long time.

They were different, their hair was gray, unlike when she'd last seen them. And now they had heavy lines of worry around their eyes, and mouths. She was angry that she'd caused them such pain, and was continuing to do so. She loved them so much, but still she refused to speak.

She didn't even feel at home with her parents. They were different people, just as she was a different person. Everyone she knew was different now, but it was like they all wanted to pretend nothing had changed. She had to do enough pretending as it was.

She bent over, placing her head in her hands. She wished she didn't have to pretend.

"Kat, are you alright?" her father asked.

She looked back up, forcing a smile and a curt nod. Of course she wasn't alright, she was a stranger in her own home.

Her parents smiled.

"We've missed you so much Kat."

She just continued smiling.

Peeta was in his run down London apartment when he got the call. It was a voice he hadn't heard in years.

"Hello? Peeta?" It was Katniss's mother.

He was filled with dread; he hadn't thought he'd ever speak to her again. "Yes?" he answered.

"They found Katniss," she said softly, her voice breaking.

"What?" he was shocked, and terrified. He wasn't ready for this "Oh god… She… She's…"

"She's alive Peeta,"

His heart swelled, tears coming to his eyes. After four long years he'd lost all hope that they'd find her alive.

"She's ok?" he asked, his head hardly able to believe it.

"Yes, she just got out of the hospital…" she trailed off. "I understand if you're too busy to come down… It was a long time ago after all…"

"Of course I want to see her,"

Of course he did. In his mind it had never been a question.

He then forced himself to ask what had been plaguing his mind, the question he feared. "Where was she… What happened to her?"

There was silence for a moment.

"They found her out on the highway outside of New York, but… She hasn't spoken a word; not to us, not to the police. We really don't know what happened to her."

Peeta couldn't help but feel it was his fault that she'd been taken. That he shouldn't have let her walk home alone that night, no matter how angry they'd both been. He hadn't known it would cause so much heartache.

But now she was back, and she was okay… He would set things right.

It was late when he got to Boston, too late really for a visit, but Peeta couldn't stop himself from driving up into the familiar driveway. He had to see her.

He stepped out of the car, making his way up to her window. He tapped on it softly, just like he had all those years ago. Just like back when they'd been just stupid teenagers.

When she turned on the light and opened up the glass, his breath caught in his throat just like before. He wanted to hold her face in his hands and kiss away every bruise on her face. He wanted to make her feel loved, and wanted, and cared for. He wanted to piece her back together and make her feel whole again.

"Peeta," she said, her voice soft, her eyes lighting up.

"Hey," he smiled at her. Not with pity, or disgust, just pure and uncomplicated love.

One look into his eyes and she was home at last.